Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Stratford Soup Kitchen

"Sometimes it's easy to walk by because we know we can't change someone's whole life in a single afternoon. But what we fail to realize it that simple kindness can go a long way toward encouraging someone who is stuck in a desolate place."

Mike Yankoski

It takes a lot of bottle to present oneself at a soup kitchen and ask to be fed. One is nervous, self conscious and the sense of pride feels particularly bruised. 

There are proud people who visit our soup kitchen, educated people, individuals of good stock. However , unlucky circumstances have placed them on a level par with the 80 or so people who sleep rough in and around Westfield and the Stratford Centre, London. 

Within that kingdom your accent or social status doesn't quite cut it. You're vulnerable and need help and support from the community. And this is where soup kitchens like One Third are so necessary. 

I saw Maureen smiling at me from a distance but as I was in the zone, serving with the team and chatting to visitors and general members of the public it didn't click, until later. I beckoned her over and offered her a plate of food. 

Maureen loved the new dishes we had on offer that evening. As a special treat our cook had laid on meat biriani and chana chick peas. We were all tempted to do a little cheeky takeaway but failed in our bid to do so as the pots were wiped clean well before the final bell. "I'm really hungry," said Maureen. "My mate has gone to McDonald's. We don't have enough for two so she's gone to eat first. She'll be out soon and will be shocked to see me. This is delicious. God bless you all."

Jay joined for a little chat and even took our group pics. He said he'd bring his dad over next time. We had a lot of new faces and some of the regulars like Amanda were missed. George came to visit us in his wheelchair. He liked the food so much he even had thirds. 
At the latest One Third soup kitchen we had three new volunteers join the pack. It was great fun, great banter, great company all the way. 

Kind hearted members of the public donated £22.00 for contribution towards the next pot. 

My cricket team Scintilla CC had thrashed Bow Green so all in all a great day. I had to break my fast on the way back but got in to share a wholesome family meal. No food problems there - Lucky me, eh?

1 comment:

Li Mei said...


I am interested in volunteering at this soup kitchen. Would you be able to pass to me the contact details? My email is